Jesus Never Ceases to Call
Vocation Ministry Update
“’Jesus never ceases to call people to follow him and to proclaim the Kingdom’ (C. 52). We are convinced that Christ always provides the Church with the ministers that are necessary. It is up to us to discover effective ways of presenting our Oblate vocation to people today.”
General Norms for Oblate Formation No. 78
On January 25, 1816 Fathers De Mazenod, Deblieu, Tempier, Mie and Icard formed a community for the work of the missions, which later will be called the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It was the beginning of an amazing adventure in God’s mission that continues till today. 205 years later as part this mission, our Vocation Team invited young men interested in missionary religious life to “Come and See”- rather, to “ZOOM and See” amid the COVID 19 pandemic. The theme of our gatherings was: The Courage to Walk in the Footsteps of the Apostles.
It was truly inspiring to virtually welcome a few young men from across the country who are actively and intentionally discerning their calling in life. The gatherings began with a time of prayer and then our Vocation Team would present, in verity, the OMI Lacombe Canada ministries with the emphasis on what makes them “Oblate”. It was truly a life-giving and hopeful to see how many good works in the charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod are happening in our province. We had a chance to reflect on the outreach and welcoming ministries in St. Joseph Parish in Ottawa, ON and St. Patrick in Hamilton, ON. We acknowledged and appreciated the ministries with Indigenous People in St. Kateri Tekakwitha Aboriginal Parish in Winnipeg, MB and Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton, AB and around Lac Ste. Anne area. We also expressed our gratitude for the Oblate Associates involved in the life and mission of the province. Even though all that was shared about living out the Oblate charism from the Canadian perspective was just the “tip of the iceberg”, it was enough to spark questions from the young discerners, which in turn led into lively conversations.
The next Virtual “Zoom & See” experience will be organized and sponsored by the US Province Vocation Team on February 20, 2021 (11:00am – 2:00pm Central Time) with the theme: The Calling of Levi. Canadian inquirers will also be welcome to this gathering, giving them an opportunity to “come and see” our Oblate life and mission from the Canada-US regional perspective. Fr. Salvador (Chava) Gonzalez, OMI – director of Kings House Retreat Center in Belleville, IL – will be a guest speaker.
In addition, I am very excited to share with you that our Vocations Café is back online! In the spirit of creating and cultivating the culture of vocation, we talk about vocations from many different perspectives. It’s not a webinar or an online lecture… Vocations Café is a conversation! We invite people from different walks of life: religious brothers and sisters, priests, married couples or persons embracing single life. Remember, a Vocation is our answer to God’s call, and we all have a Vocation. It’s where we find our purpose and meaning in life. Each Vocation’s Café session will be LIVE streamed on the OMI Lacombe Canada Facebook Page fb.me/missionaryoblates and it provides an opportunity to ask questions and fully engage in the conversation.
The dates for our upcoming “Vocations Café” are:
- Tuesday, February 2, 2021 – 2:00pm Eastern Time:
Conversation with Fr. Dominik Zwierzychowski, OMI from Anglo-Irish Province who is a member of the Vocation Animation Team. He will be connecting from Dublin, Ireland.
- Monday, February 15, 2021 – 5:00pm Eastern Time
Conversation with Br. Joshua Nash, OMI from Australian Province. He is a scholastic in St Mary’s Seminary, Camberwell.
- Wednesday, February 24, 2021 – 7:00pm Eastern Time
Conversation with Fr. Denz Evardone Basada, OMI and Fr. Rockmore Saniel, OMI, vocation directors for Philippines Province. They will be connecting from Manila, Philippines.
Tune in and join the conversation!
Let’s pray for and encourage Vocations to the religious life and priesthood.
Fr. Jarek Pachocki OMI